Books are Better than Movies

BookcaseSince electronic books entered the scene there has been much debate about which is better, traditional paper or e-books.  I am in the (small?) group of people who will never abandon paper books.  I love the feel of it in my hands, the smell of old paper, and especially the physical act of turning the pages.  The more intense the story, the more I am rubbing that page between my fingers, itching to turn it and find out what happens next.  But what about the comparison between reading and movies made from books?

I have this weird thing when I know I’m going to see a movie based on a book, I read the book first.  I don’t know why, it usually ends up being much better than the movie and I’m left disappointed and let down after I see it.  After all, how can you squeeze hundreds of pages into two hours?

But I still do it.

One thing I like better about books is developing my own mental pictures.  Provided the writing is good, you get a sense of what the surroundings look like and even conjure up your own image of the characters.  When discussing a book with other readers, it’s funny how different the images can be.  Your mental pictures are based as much on the author’s descriptions as your own personal experiences.  In movies you’re given someone else’s image of the people and places.

In books we’re given a lot of detail.  For instance, the author may write about the protagonist’s appearance in a stressful situation by describing the veins in her neck as “bulging rope-like cords ready to burst from her body”.  (Yeah, pretty descriptive, right?!)  But in a movie, what if that actress doesn’t have bulging neck veins, are you even looking at her neck?  Are you picking up how dire that situation is?

If you’re like me, you may be checking out her hair.  Yes, I have shiny object syndrome.

Maybe it’s the length of time we spend with the characters in a book.  It’s almost as if you’re inserting yourself into the story somehow, watching always from just around the corner and out of sight.  You can have your own interpretations of what the author means; there’s no director to tell you what to think.  Just be prepared for the let-down after it’s over.  After all, it’s sometimes hard to let it go when you’ve invested that amount of time in a story.

Although I have read a few books electronically, I’ll always be a lover of traditional print books.  And I will always be a reader.


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